ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY - Doctor's going through medical school are warned about "doctor shopping", but police say it's still a major problem happening in central Pennsylvania almost every day.
Police, pharmacists, and doctors. Three different professions, all working together to reach the same goal. To stop doctor shopping.
Donald Beckstead's a doctor in Altoona; he's spoken to scammers in the past at rehab centers.
"...After hearing some of the stories, I realized I probably had been scammed in the past and not realized I had been."
Beckstead, now a doctor for decades, says he knows what to look for.
"..the not as bright patients will give it away, but the people that are good at this, are really good at this, they've been doing it for a number of years... they wont admit to seeing a bunch of other doctors before."
Beckstead says they'll come from out of the area to doctor shop.
"...If I see somebody coming here from Clearfield, that's a red flag right away, cause they probably used up all their relationships in Clearfield so they're going to try to get away with it here."
Pete Kreckel runs Broad Ave Pharmacy in Altoona. He sees doctor shopping all the time, like Beckstead from out of the area. He's even seen people get doctors prescription's from Florida and bring them to Altoona.
"...I might be good but I'm not that good that it's worth driving from Florida to Altoona Pennsylvania to get your prescription pills, so I report that. And I refuse to full any prescriptions of any suspicious nature that are obvious like that."
Beckstead says he knows doctors that are part of the problem.
"There are a few doctors that I know of that are easier to get narcotics from if they mention those particular doctors, then that's usually a tip off..."
Three different professions working together to stop the problem. But even with some success, Chief Ron Heller with Logan Township Police says it's going to take more.
"Are we going to beat it? I don't have that answer. I doubt it very much with the number of addicts we have to deal with, I mean it's getting to be where it's almost every day."
Doctor Beckstead says they use "Narcotic Contracts" with some patients. Which means they're only getting prescriptions from one Doctor, pills from one Pharmacist, that they're taking the prescribed amount, and they get drug tested to prove it. Doctor Beckstead says that he's talked about starting a national database to track where and when every person gets a prescription. But that's just an early idea, to stop a problem affecting central PA now.